Leveraging existing structures

Find people where they already are

In emergency events, people will go where they are used to going for information and resources. This often means social media and service apps.



Leverage social platforms

There are already disaster related features on platforms like Facebook (Crisis Response, Safety Check, help forums). These could co-exist with governmental official information, to combat the misinformation that often arises on social media.

Leverage sharing economy apps

Sharing economy apps such as Lyft, Poparide, and Airbnb already laid a structure for people connecting to one another to share resrouces. These can be repurposed and oriented to in the event of a disaster, instead of creating new tools from scratch.

Supporting research


“People go to information sources that they know of and are comfortable with – Even if the information is not completely accurate, people will go to information sources such as social media, or just talking with friends and family.”

Public Alerting Service Design Project, Emergency Management BC, 2018

“While disaster communication has predominantly been the province of formal response agencies (e.g., emergency services etc.), online emergent groups are increasingly playing active roles in communication and information exchange.

Disaster communication through a Facebook page [Tassie Fires – We Can Help (TFWCH)] specifically set up to provide a medium for communication during the response and recovery for a wildfire (bushfire) disaster in Tasmania, Australia in 2013, provided reciprocal communication and fostered a sense of community spirit.”

“Communication, Sense of Community, and Disaster Recovery: A Facebook Case Study” Douglas Paton & Melanie Irons, Charles Darwin University, 2016

“We’re looking for a ride, anywhere,” read the ad she posted to Craigslist on Wednesday. Hers was one among a great many requests that have popped up since Tuesday on Craigslist, Carpoolworld, and in Facebook groups. “I've been packed, been ready. Help me get out of the eye of the storm please.”

“Where Is the App for Escaping a Hurricane?” Laura Bliss, Citylab 2017